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Giant Lantern Festival 2023

Welcome to the divine world of lights

Dates: December 16, 2023–January 1, 2024

Giant Lantern Festival

The Giant Lantern Festival, also known as Ligligan Parul, in the city of San Fernando is an annual event that takes place during the month of December, the peak Christmas season in the Philippines. The festival, which dates back to 1204, originates in a religious ritual known as “lubenas.”

The Giant Lantern Festival Competition that takes place in mid-December is the main highlight of the festival. The main contestants are local communities or barangay, such as Brgy. Del Pilar, Dolores and Pandaras. Skillful creators of giant lanterns showcase their masterpieces made of fiberglass and paper.

Usually, one lantern displays a plethora of colors and different forms. At first, the lanterns were made of simple available materials, such as bamboo. However, the tradition progressed, and the lanterns became bigger and more complicated. Nowadays, this festival is a display of electrical engineering possibilities. Large steel rotors replaced the hand-controlled switches to operate the lights. A modern 20-foot (6-m) lantern consists of 3,500 to 5,000 light bulbs. The festival is so popular among natives and tourists that the city of San Fernando is considered to be the Christmas capital of the country.

After the competition, the giant lanterns are exhibited at various venues across the city for about two weeks, drawing hundreds of thousands of domestic and international travellers.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin